Memorial Service planned for Veterans Day

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014

For over 30 years members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #9116 of Columbus, N.C. have conducted a memorial ceremony to honor their departed comrades in arms. The ceremony has traditionally taken place at 11 a.m. on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 of each year.

Over the years this small group of local, dedicated veterans has not only honored those veterans who have departed this life but have also unintentionally brought honor to themselves through their continuing loyalty and dedication to the remembrance of their departed comrades.

The tradition will continue this year as plans have been developed to once again conduct a memorial service on Veterans Day. The service will take place at the Veterans Memorial Park in Columbus. It will begin shortly after the Veterans Day parade has concluded. The service will include a special wreath-laying ceremony performed by the Polk County Veterans Memorial Honor Guard, commanded by retired Army Master Sergeant Bevin Corbin. The wreath will be placed by the former long-time commander of VFW Post # 9116, H. Scott Camp.

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Music for the service will be provided by the Polk County High School Cadets (Band) under the direction of Cindy Gilbert. Guest country music artist, McKayla Reece, will perform several songs before and during the service.

Following the traditional release of white doves, Colonel J. Quincy Collins, USAF, retired, will address those in attendance. Col. Collins, who resides near Charlotte, N.C., was a young US Air Force captain when the aircraft he was flying was shot down 80 miles from Hanoi during the war in Vietnam. He was captured and spent almost seven and one-half years in North Vietnam prisoner of war camps. There he endured torture, despicable food and very little medical treatment.

Otis Livingston, president of the local group planning the events, said,”The public is encouraged to attend both events and acknowledge our nation’s gratitude to all the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces. I am hopeful many families will attend and bring along their children.” The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Food Lion Shopping Center in Columbus.

– article submitted by Otis Livingston